Trip Start Jul 06, 2004
43Trip End Mar 27, 2007
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Anyway, I've now fully transitioned to a PCVL. What does that mean? you ask... What DOES that mean? I ask... Well, I'm still trying to figure that out. So far it means a lot of down time (and hence a lot of naps), a lot of traveling to Kingston, a lot of chatting with the new volunteers, and a lot of people asking me "what does it mean to be a PCVL?". I'm still in the begining phase, and hoping that it shapes up to something bigger. Peace Corps has been very helpful in shaping this role, but it's still moving slowly.
A month ago I was in the States for my second visit home in two years. It started out roughly when my flight to Chicago was cancled. Malcolm was traveling with me for the first 5 days of my trip, and I was upset because this was cutting into the time he had in America. The airline offered to fly us to Atlanta, put us up for the night, and fly us into Chicago the next morning. Okay, at least we were going to BE in America. After our free night in Atlanta we went to the airport expecting to be put on a plane to Chicago. The ticketing lady informed us that I had a ticket to Chicago, but he didn't. As I said "fix it, fix it" over and over she managed to put Malcolm on standby. We got the the gate, explained the situation, and they offered us another solution. They said we could go on the NEXT flight to chicago, but in first class. Phew... okay. So we eventually made it to chicago together, only about 12 hours late.
The rest of the trip was much calmer. Malcolm was able to meet my family. I was able to meet up with some of my RPCV (returned peace corps volunteer) friends. I was able to get a new tattoo. And I was able to spend some good quality time shopping... I mean, with my family. It was a good time, but not really relaxing at all because I did a million thing, and saw a million people. Also, I realized that America is a much better place in my imagination than it is in real life. What I had remembered had become an idealized version of American reality. So the bottom line is: Jamaica is pretty cool, and America was not as cool as I rememberd it.
What does that mean for our intrepid PCVL? Well, it means that I may be staying here after my March COS date, or it may mean that I'll be returning to America to find it depressing and boring (like all of my RPCV friends have found it to be). Either way, Malcolm with be with me and will be with me for a long time to come...